Al Ghurair, one of the largest conglomerates in the UAE, on Wednesday announced the appointment of Constantin Salameh as Group CEO.
Salameh will lead multiple business units including foods, construction, resources, properties, energy, printing, retail and education, the company said in a statement.
AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman, said the appointment was part of a strategy to enhance business and organisational capabilities.
He added that Salameh would be tasked with helping the company "arrive at a more efficient planning and execution model designed to meet future industry and market challenges".
He said: "Given the diversity of our operations, it was significant to appoint a Group CEO. Each of our sectors has its own CEO - and, in challenging times, they should be allowed to focus solely on their own areas of expertise."
Constantin Salameh previously worked at Hewlett-Packard Corporation for 19 years in Geneva and Hong Kong where he rose to vice president and general manager of HPFS Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific regions respectively.
He then assumed the role of CFO of a global private family holding with 40 manufacturing operations, 4600 retail outlets and 40,000 employees in more than 50 countries.
Since 2009, Salameh has been CEO of a leading Abu Dhabi-based investment group, the statement said.
Salameh said: "One of the challenges for such diverse and multi-faceted businesses is to maintain and enhance collective focus and strategic direction, particularly in difficult economic times.
"Al Ghurair has always evolved to meet such challenges. I look forward to helping the chairman and the board build upon a proud past to secure an even brighter future for the company and all its stakeholders."
Late last year, Al Ghurair announced it was realigning its core business units "to meet the demands of the changing economy".
As part of the new strategy, Al Ghurair's business was split into eight distinctive business units - construction, resources, foods, energy, education, property, retail and printing and publishing.